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Question
Posted by: Jazzmine | 2004/11/08

Underweight, want to gain

Im 21 yrs old and underweight. Its really annoying when I get asked if I eat. People think I deliberately starve myself, which is not the case. I do want to put on a few kilo's, but don't know how to go about it.I have a really good apetite. I also would like to join a gym, but would that make me lose more weight? How do I slow down my metabolism?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

HI Jazzmine

I think that exercise is important to help you gain weight, it all depends on how you go about it. You can either use exercise to lose or to gain weight. The difference is what you focus on. If you were to go and do regular cardio, for about 4 or 5 hours a week, and nothing else, you would possibly even lose weight, and that's obviously not what you are after.

If you exercise by adding a few weight training sessions to your training, then you stand to start building muscle mass, which is what you want. Eating well is obviously very important, but overeating is not the answer, because that just adds on fat mass and it's not too healthy either. So, back to the weight training. If your aim were to build muscle, the following guidelines will help you:
• Perform 6-10 reps at a high intensity - use a weight that you could lift 12 to 15 times
• Perform 3-4 sets
• Rest 30-60 seconds between reps
• Train each muscle group at least once or twice a week
• Allow 48 hours rest between each muscle’s workout

If your aim were to tone muscle, the following guidelines will help you:
• Perform 10-15 reps but at a much lower intensity - use a weight that would allow you to lift the weight at least 25 times.
• Perform 4-6 sets
• Rest 30-60 seconds between reps
• Train each muscle group at least once or twice a week
• Allow 48 hours rest between each muscle’s workout

If you were to exercise three times a week, you will increase your toning but to a much lesser extent compare to training 4-6 times per week. The volume of your training is much more important than the intensity of your training, bearing in mind your aim is to build muscle.

Your improvement will depend on your initial fitness level. The greatest improvement will be during the first few weeks of your training due to the adaptations of your muscles. A training program is individualized and every person will progress differently. It is hard to tell exactly when you will see changes, but generally after two weeks you will feel stronger and after six weeks you will be able to see an improvement.

A really good website that you can go to to find out more about weight training is the following:
http://www.health24.co.za/specials/buc/buc.start.asp
It contains good advice, explanations and assistance with the different types of exercises for different body parts, and even programmes for different types of people. Well worth a look

Regards

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

1
Our users say:
Posted by: Napalm | 2004/11/09

Hi there,
Sorry no advice but I suffer from the same - I am a 24 yr old man, 75KGs from 1998. The most I ever weighed was 78, I eat alot, I mean I love my food, but still, no change.
I tried: Gyming, avoiding sport, avoiding getting up from bed, eating junkfood every dasy for a month (not a good idea) and even D-tox and only do healthy organic foods - NOTHING helped. But look at it this way, where not skinny, it is the rest of the world that is fat.
NAPALM

Reply to Napalm

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